One of my all-time favorite treats are the Christmas truffles that magically appear every season in one Vienna’s most tempting pastry shops, Kurkonditorei Oberlaa. They are sublime creations made of a velvety milk chocolate ganache flavored with cinnamon and cardamom, which is enveloped in a soft milk chocolate shell and coated with crunchy sanding sugar. The contrast of textures and flavors is fabulous, and knowing that these are only available for a limited time each year turns them into truly irresistible objects of desire.
However, perfection should not be messed with, which is why I immediately decided that trying to recreate them was out of the question. But I had recently come across an interesting recipe in La Cucina Italiana for vanilla scented rice puddings with a truffle center and strawberry sauce. I just had to wait for the perfect occasion to have an excuse to give this recipe a try! The original recipe was relatively rich though, so I made some (minor) alterations, and I must say the result was simply delicious.
Now before you put your apron on and start making truffles, go check out the fabulous truffles everyone else has been making. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Truffle Surprise (serves 5)
200g arborio rice
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
200ml heavy cream
100g best quality dark chocolate (70%)
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
butter for forms
1. Break chocolate into pieces and put in a bowl.
2. Bring half the cream to a boil.
3. Add liqueur to cream and immediately pour over chocolate. Let stand for a few minutes and then carefully stir chocolate into cream.
4. Let cool to room temperature and then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
5. When ganache has firmed up, make truffles (about 1 generous teaspoon per truffle). Keep truffles refrigerated.
6. In a small pot, bring milk, remaining cream, sugar, scraped vanilla seeds and pod, and a pinch of salt to the boil.
7. Remove vanilla pod and add rice.
8. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is soft and has absorbed all the liquid.
9. Uncover and let rice cool to room temperature.
10. Butter small metal forms and fill halfway with rice. Transfer to refrigerator for 30 minutes.
11. Make a small indentation in the rice with your thumb and add one truffle per form.
12. Top up forms with remaining rice and refrigerate until ready to serve, or at least 30 minutes.
13. In the meantime, blend strawberries, a dash of water and sugar to your liking in a blender.
14. Before serving, remove rice puddings from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
15. Remove puddings from form and serve with strawberry sauce.
This recipe yields extra truffles, which are delicious rolled in cocoa powder.
Thanks again Stevie and Heavenly Housewife for hosting this great event! I hope everyone had as much fun making their truffles as I did. And please don’t forget to check out everyone else’s exquisite recipes!